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$228K Awarded to County Fairs

For Immediate Release


Nora Nolden, Communications Consultant

[email protected] or (651) 245-6804



Compeer Financial Awards $228K to County Fairs

57 grants awarded for county fair facility improvements in Ill., Minn. and Wis.


Sun Prairie, Wis., (May 23, 2023)  Compeer Financial’s Fund for Rural America, the Farm Credit cooperative’s giving program, is supporting county fairs with grants to improve facilities and experiences offered to communities across the Upper Midwest. 57 fairs received County Fair Facility Upgrade Grants of up to $4,000 this year, totaling $227,750 awarded. 

“Fairs are a cornerstone of summer in rural communities, but many face barriers to maintaining updated facilities,” said Karen Schieler, senior corporate giving specialist at Compeer Financial. 

This year’s grant recipients reported the average age of fairground buildings was 47 years old. Many reported that no updates have been made since they were first built. Fair organizations rely heavily on community volunteers. One third of fairs have no paid staff. 

“County fairs bring together communities to share experiences and connect with agriculture. We hope this will help provide the best possible experience for visitors as they enjoy the important tradition of the county fair,” said Schieler.

Since the program was established in 2018, the Fund has awarded 361 County Fair Facility Upgrade Grants for a total impact of over $1.1 million, benefitting 165 fairs over the past six years. The Fund intends to offer this grant again in March 2024.  

The 57 organizations in Compeer Financial’s territory receiving support from the County Fair Facility Upgrade Grant Program include:


  • Adams County Fair Association: constructing and painting a desk area in the new horse office; repairing posts and windows or adding an enclosed area onto the rabbit barn; paint and repairs for the shelves in the 4-H building
  • Boone County Fair Association: replacement of the wash rack for the horses, ponies, and draft horses
  • Brown County Fair Association: rebuilding the cattle wash rack, painting building, updating the gates in the livestock barns, and reinforcing and painting poles in the cattle show barn
  • Carroll County Fair Association: expanding the bathrooms and handicap accessibility for the hobbies building
  • Fulton County Fair & Racing Association: repairing posts in the cattle barn
  • Grundy County Agricultural District Fair: repairing bleachers, lateral boards on pen stalls, posts, and gate repairs in the hog area
  • LaSalle County Junior Fair Association: insulating the 4-H youth projects judging and display building
  • McHenry County Fair Association: installing fans in the livestock showing pavilion
  • Heart of Illinois Fair (Peoria County): painting the livestock barns and repairing wood pen gates
  • Pike County Fair: new poles, wooden gate, hog panel and t-post in the livestock building
  • Schuyler County Fair: replacing fence posts, adding lime, and replacing electric in the livestock barns
  • Stark County Junior Fair: roof and sky light repairs, and new paint to the livestock building
  • Will County Fair Association: new plywood and boards for the horse barn stalls
  • Woodford County Farm Bureau: new fence and electricity for the outdoor arena


  • Aitkin County Ag Society: repairing the poultry and rabbit building, and water system for the sheep, goat, and swine building
  • Anoka County Fair: drainage around the 4-H building and updating the sound system in the 4-H and barn areas
  • Blue Earth County Fair Association: adding sand in the beef and sheep barns
  • Cass County Agricultural Association: new lighting in the horse arena and grandstand area
  • Cottonwood County Agricultural Society: a handicap accessible viewing area in show pavilion
  • Dodge County Agricultural and Mechanical Society-Dodge County Free Fair: expanding the animal wash bay in the goat, hog and sheep building
  • Fillmore County Agricultural Society: upgrading the sound system in the livestock building and show arena
  • Goodhue County Agricultural Society & Mechanics Institute: new pens for a livestock building
  • Cannon Valley Fair: pens for sheep and goats
  • Houston County Agricultural Society: enclosing the poultry and rabbit building
  • Isanti County Agricultural Society: updating the wash racks and purchasing fans for the swine barn
  • Martin County Fair: replacing the curtain on the horse barn
  • Mille Lacs County Fair: purchasing and installing asphalt pavement under swine pens in the livestock pavilion, and a new speaker system for horse arena
  • Morrison County Ag Society: replacing the announcer's stand in the 4-H livestock show arena, replacing boards on the livestock showring bleachers, purchasing steel and supplies to make more 4-H livestock pens, and purchasing sunshades for the side of the 4-H cattle barn
  • Nicollet County Agriculture Society: upgrading the manure station, upgrading the cattle wash rack, and a new water line to the sheep and poultry barn
  • Olmsted County Agriculture Association: repairing sheep, beef and horse pens
  • South Saint Louis County Fair: a new roof for the rabbit and poultry barn
  • Sibley County Fair: replacing old wood goat pens in the goat building with manufactured metal pens
  • Stearns County Fair Association: a new wash rack
  • Steele County Agricultural Society: repairing the roof on the swine building
  • Waseca County Free Fair: new gates in the cattle barn
  • Winona County Fair: improving and upgrading the lighting in the 4-H building


  • Bayfield County Fair: repairing draft horse barn stalls
  • Burnett County Agricultural Society Fair: replacing poultry and rabbit exhibit cages and structural repairs to the poultry, rabbit and small animals building
  • Northern Wisconsin State Fair Association, Inc.: purchasing pens for the small animal barn
  • Columbia County Fair Association: replacing the stage judging area 
  • Dodge County Fair Association: replacing the floor shavings in the show arena
  • Fond du Lac County Holstein Association: electrical updates and fans for the dairy barns, and milking parlor upgrades
  • Grant County Fair: remodeling the staging area in the Auditorium inside the 4-H Youth and Agriculture Center
  • Iowa County Fair: replacing posts in the beef barn
  • Jefferson County Fair Park: replacing lights in the Activity Center 
  • Juneau County Agricultural Society: pouring additional concrete sidewalks and repair old sidewalks between the barns
  • Kenosha County Fair Association: fans for the dairy barns and 4-H exhibit buildings
  • Marquette County Youth Organization Association: installing a concrete floor in the small animal barn
  • Monroe County Agricultural Society: renovating the show ring area, constructing new pens, painting gates and pens, improving gate and pen locking devices, and updating water lines
  • Ozaukee County Agricultural Society: replacing lighting in the show barn arena
  • Rock County 4-H Fair: updating pens in the multi-purpose barn and new pens for sheep
  • St. Croix County Fair, Inc.: improving the sound quality in the judging arena and installing ceiling fans
  • Sauk County Senior Leader Association: painting, repairing water damage and updating ventilation in the 4-H food stand building
  • Sheboygan County Fair Association: repairs to the Skill Center and log cabin buildings
  • Vernon County Fair: updating electrical, new LED lights and fans in the junior dairy barn
  • Walworth County Agricultural Society, Inc.: repairing leaks and improving ventilation in the small animal barn
  • Washington County Fair: replacing broken and rotting boards in the stalls of the draft horse barn, and replacing fence around the AgAdventure Land area

For more information about the Country Fair Facility Upgrade Program, visit


About the Fund for Rural America
The Compeer Financial Fund for Rural America is the corporate giving program of Compeer Financial, structured to support Compeer Financial’s mission to enrich agriculture and rural America. Compeer Financial’s Board of Directors has dedicated one percent of annual net earnings to support the Fund’s focus areas of agricultural advocacy and development, agriculture education, cooperative initiatives, rural development and community enrichment; and youth engagement. The Fund is managed by a Board of Trustees, made up of team members from Illinois, Minnesota and Wisconsin and members of the Compeer Financial Board of Directors. More information about opportunities available through the Fund can be found at

About Compeer Financial

Compeer Financial is a member-owned Farm Credit cooperative serving and supporting agriculture and rural communities. The $29.7 billion organization provides loans, leases, risk management and other financial services throughout 144 counties in Illinois, Minnesota and Wisconsin. Based in the Upper Midwest, Compeer Financial exists to champion the hopes and dreams of rural America, while providing personalized service and expertise to clients and the agriculture industry.

Compeer Financial is the third largest cooperative of the Farm Credit System, a nationwide network of lending institutions supporting agriculture and rural communities with reliable, consistent credit and financial services. Learn more about Compeer Financial.





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